Al Franken Accuser was Once a Poker TV Hostess

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Published on:
Nov/17/2017

The woman who stunned a nation Thursday with her accusations that Democratic US Senator Al Franken groped her has previously hosted a popular televised poker program.

Leeann Tweeden posted the allegations, including a photo she says was taken with her own camera while asleep, of Franken reaching for both her breasts with a cat-like grin on his face.

Ms. Tweeden’s portfolio in the world of poker entertainment includes a stint as host of the late night NBC poker program “Poker After Dark” from 2008 to 2011.  She is currently a morning anchor with KABC Radio.

Tweeden  recalled that during a 2006 USO tour, former SNL comedian-turned politician Franken wrote a skit for the pair that was filled with “sexual innuendo,” and that Franken had brought a women’s thong as a prop that he waved around during their performance. Part of the skit included a kiss, she said, and he insisted they practice kissing during a rehearsal despite her protests.

“We did the line leading up to the kiss and then he came at me, put his hand on the back of my head, mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth,” she wrote.

Tweeden provided a photo to the media in which she is seen sleeping while Franken reaches over to feign fondling of her breasts.  The radio news anchor claims she only became aware of that photo after going through pictures on her camera the next day. 

Franken initially offered an apology Thursday morning before releasing a more lengthy statement in the afternoon.

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Leeanne Tweeden seen here in a promotional shot for NBC's "Poker After Dark"

“While I don’t remember the rehearsal for the skit as Leeann does, I understand why we need to listen to and believe women’s experiences,” the Democratic senator said. “Coming from the world of comedy, I’ve told and written a lot of jokes that I once thought were funny but later came to realize were just plain offensive.”

Of the photo, Franken said: “I look at it now and I feel disgusted with myself. It isn’t funny. It’s completely inappropriate. It’s obvious how Leeann would feel violated by that picture.”

The allegations could trigger an ethics review in the Senate. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called on Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to join him in pressing for a review.

“Regardless of party, harassment and assault are completely unacceptable— in the workplace or anywhere else,” the Kentucky Republican said.

Franken said he welcomed such an investigation.

The embarrassing situation comes at a time when Republican candidate for Alabama Senator, Judge Roy Moore, has been accused of inappropriate behavior with teenage girls when he was in his 30’s many decades ago.  

Senate Republicans have called for Alabama GOP candidate Roy Moore to step aside in the face of claims he molested two of the women.  Over a half dozen woman have come forward thus far.

Moore continues to deny the allegations though he raised eyebrows during an interview with radio and television host Sean Hannity responding to questions regarding whether he would date teenage girls as an adult.  The judge responded “Not generally, no”.  He also stated: “I never dated any girl without the permission of her mother”.

Tweeden’s poker connections also come at a time when poker pro Daniel Negreanu and Hollywood celebrity poker player James Woods have lashed out at one another via Twitter, implying that the other has engaged in inappropriate predatory behavior with minors.

Negreanu posted a poll on his Twitter page asking if his followers would trust Woods to babysit their 16-year-old daughter.  Woods minced no words in calling Negreanu a “cowardly piece of s***” while implying he too once dated a teenage girl.

- Nagesh Rath, Gambling911.com

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